Mastercard acquires digital identity firm Ekata in $850m deal
Mastercard announced the acquisition of digital identity verification firm Ekata for $850 million.
Seattle-based Ekata uses insights to deliver unique scores, data attributes and risk indicators to businesses. It offers a real-time identification toolkit for account opening, payments, and “a variety of other digital interactions”.
Mastercard says digital identity is “a foundational part” of its “multi-layered approach” to security. It will combine Ekata’s platform with Mastercard’s own fraud prevention and digital identity offerings.
The payments giant hopes its combined offering can make it a “one stop shop” for banks, consumers, enterprises, and governments.
“The shift to a more digital world requires real solutions to secure every transaction and instil trust in every interaction,” says Ajay Bhalla, president of cyber and intelligence solutions at Mastercard.
“With the addition of Ekata, we will advance our identity capabilities and create a safer, seamless way for consumers to prove who they say they are in the new digital economy.”
The deal is Mastercard’s first acquisition of 2021. It follows a trio of buyouts in 2020, which included marketplace firm IfOnly, authentication company Cytegic, and open banking fintech Finicity.
Rob Eleveld, CEO at Ekata, says the acceleration of online transactions has “thrust global digital identity verification to the forefront”.
He adds: “The right identity verification solutions enable inclusive and frictionless experiences while ensuring customer privacy, control and security.
“Becoming part of the Mastercard Identity family ensures a broader, collective approach to meeting the growing demands of the digital economy.”
The transaction is subject to regulatory review and customary closing conditions. It’s anticipated to close within the next six months.